Chris Pratt Fights Donkey Kong, Races Go-Karts in New ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Trailer (Video)

Illumination and Universal’s animated film also features the voices of Jack Black and Anya Taylor-Joy

While the first trailer for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” focused on Jack Black’s King Koopa/Bowser and the visual splendor of the Mushroom Kingdom, this second look offers up a better, longer look at Mario himself. The spot offers a mix of high fantasy adventure tropes and IP-specific beats like Mario being thrashed by Donkey Kong, Mario wearing the raccoon suit and a final beat featuring essentially a massive game of “Mario Kart.” “Super Smash Bros.” may have to wait until the sequel.

That closer look includes Chris Pratt’s preemptively controversial vocals, which mostly sound like, well, Chris Pratt playing a blue collar plumber who embarks on a fantastical adventure. The notion of Chris Pratt voicing Mario is one of those things where the perpetually online rant and whine but general audiences either don’t care or approve of the choice because they like the actor.

Strong viewership for Amazon’s “The Terminal List” over the last July 4th holiday weekend, along with ongoing movie franchises like “Guardians of the Galaxy” (whose threequel may be next year’s biggest grossing MCU title) and “Jurassic World” (whose threequel topped $1 billion this summer), says the general populace has significant interest in whatever Pratt does next, regardless of chatter about his Mario voice.

The first trailer, with Bowser violently overthrowing a kingdom ruled by tiny penguins, played very well on an IMAX screen and offered both the expected kid-friendly comedy and a surprising sense of scope and butt-shaking audio oomph. This continues that trend, as the Illumination film offers a bigger and longer look at the Mushroom Kingdom and its visual splendor while teasing at least some action and adventure specifically in-tune with the platform-jumping mechanics of its video game source material.

It was just shy of 30 years ago, Memorial Day weekend 1993, when the live-action “Super Mario Bros.” movie landed with a critical and commercial thud, earning just $39 million worldwide on a $48 million budget and giving birth to the so-called curse of the video game movie. Yes, the industry would see critical and commercial failures like “Double Dragon,” “Final Fantasy: The Sprits Within” and “Assassin’s Creed” continue that theme, even while objectively high-grossing titles like “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” ($335 million in 2010) and “Warcraft” ($441 million in 2016) would fail to become hits due to poor reception and over/under $185 million budgets.

However, since 2018, the likes of “Rampage,” a new “Tomb Raider,” “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu,” “Uncharted” and the ongoing “Sonic the Hedgehog” franchise showed that the likes of “Mortal Kombat” in 1995, “Tomb Raider” in 2001 or the six-movie, $1.2 billion-grossing “Resident Evil” series didn’t have to be exceptions to the rule. Considering the popularity of the “Super Mario Bros.” IP, as well as the multi-quadrant draw of the Illumination brand, it’s not hard to consider that this Chris Pratt/Jack Black/Charlie Day (as Luigi)/Anya Taylor-Joy (as Princess Peach) and Keegan-Michael Key (as Toad) comedic fantasy is going to be (by default) the biggest-grossing video game movie adaptation ever.

Right now, the record holders are “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” ($191 million domestic in 2022) and “Warcraft” ($441 million worldwide in 2016). The “Sonic” milestone is a tall order for a non-sequel toon, and no non-sequel toons have topped $500 million since “The Boss Baby” ($175 million domestic and $529 million) and “Coco” ($210 million dometic and $808 million) in 2017. The pitch of a big-budget “Super Mario Bros.” animated movie from the studio that made “Sing” and “Despicable Me,” featuring the aforementioned cast may prove to be an unbeatable four-quadrant combination. Of course, presuming a normal $80-$110 million Illumination budget, it doesn’t have to break records to break even.

Penned by Mathew Fogel and directed by Aaron Horwath and Michael Jelenic, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” opens theatrically from Universal on April 7, 2023.